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letters | IT IS GLAMOROUS, BUT IS IT ART?

Mario Testino exhibit example of decline at Museum of Fine Arts

IT COMES as no surprise that the Boston Museum of Fine Arts is now featuring work of the celebrity photographer Mario Testino in an appropriately titled “In Your Face” exhibit (“MFA showcases a sure grasp of glamour,” Oct. 15).

For years Malcolm Rogers, the museum’s director, has been degrading art.

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As Christopher Muther points out, there was the 1996 show of photographs by Herb Ritts and the 2005 exhibit of Ralph Lauren’s vintage car collection.

Meanwhile the museum has ended concerts of the MFA trio after 34 years of outstandingly beautiful work.

Appropriately, Muther’s article is accompanied by a Testino photograph of a snarling Tom Brady alongside of a snarling dog.

Mr. Rogers has no apology: “I needed to show that the museum wasn’t a stuffy grand dame.” So the masterpieces of Bach, Rembrandt, and Dostoyevsky are nothing more than fodder for the “stuffy grand dame”! For thousands of years artists have sweated blood to create.

As George Bernard Shaw wrote, “I believe in Michelangelo, Velasquez, and Rembrandt; in the might of design, the mystery of color, the redemption of all things by Beauty everlasting, and the message of Art that has made these hands blessed.”

This is what Mr. Rogers is trashing.

Marvin Mandell

West Roxbury

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